Thursday July 19, 2018

Farm-to-market road gives boost to farmers

FARM-TO-MARKET roads (FMR) will allow for the better transport of goods and better pricing of crops especially for the farmers of Davao City.

During the opening of the Davao Agri Trade Expo (Date) 2017, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio expressed gratitude for the ongoing constructions of FMRs by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

"More farm-to-market roads are being created and we are grateful to the national government, the Department of Agriculture, under Secretary Manny Piñol, who granted multi-million farm-to-market roads for the 2018 budget particularly in the areas of Calinan, Marilog, and Paquibato," Duterte-Carpio said.

FMRs are a help in transporting agricultural goods from the upland barangays down to the markets and the consumers.

Currently, the mayor said there has been a 3-kilometer completed FMR in Barangay Sumimao leading to Barangay Inayangan in Calinan District.

The mayor added that the FMR is a huge concern of the agriculture industry and its creation would greatly affect the pricing scheme of the farmers of their goods.

"The creation of more farm-to-market roads remains a paramount concern because when small farmers cannot bring their harvests to market themselves they are constraint to resort to pricing schemes that put our farmers at a disadvantage," she said.

Duterte-Carpio also said it is a need for the high-value farmers to explore and improve on agribusiness development in order to have more income as well as a wider market network.

Meanwhile, the city mayor said the city government envisions an agricultural sector for the city that is resilient to climate change and is not affected by the weather.

"There is now greater environmental awareness and support from the government and the private sector, leading to increased involvement in programs for the sustainability of our farms and fishing grounds," Duterte-Carpio said.

As part of the vision to create a climate change resilient agricultural sector in the city, the mayor said they plan to convert the government-owned Malagos property into a model farm or a demo farm wherein ways and processes of ideal farming will be used which they want to be replicated in other farms in the city.

"We are to put up greenhouses that can produce whether it rains or not, whether it is sunny or not. And this model farm, we hope, will be something that the others will copy," she said.

In her speech, the mayor also cited as an example of urban agriculture the Davao City Rooftop Garden in the city hall annex which she said is a model project for the urban container garden movement that is hoped to be adapted by more Dabawenyos.

"Urban container gardening is the application of organic methods and the utilization of existing spaces in our urban areas to grow our own food for our own consumption. We believe that by utilizing organic methods and maximizing our areas, we cannot only reduce expenses, but we can also guarantee food and environmental safety," the mayor said.